Great ideas often happen around a dinner table. A new community-based project is harnessing the potential magic of such happenings to promote creativitiy.
Skaftien is an initiative that organises recurring, community-based meals to generate democratically awarded micro-grants for creative, experimental and innovative arts projects in Johannesburg and Cape Town.
Inspired by Sunday Soup in Chicago and FEAST in Brooklyn, Skaftien is neither a charity nor a funding institution. It also does not seek to be anything objective because “nothing ever is”. Instead, they’re focused on being accountable, responsible and relevant – “an experiment in independent, cultural philosophy”.
How it all works is that interested people purchase tickets to the Skaftien event. This price of the ticket buys them a meal, a ballot and entertainment. During the meal, diners are introduced to five creative proposals for which they have two votes. The proposal with the most votes at the end of the evening receives some funding for their idea, generated by the proceeds from the evening. The “winner” is also asked to present the manifestation of the project at the next event.
This business model allows experimental ideas, that would not generally attract funding from conventional sources, a chance to make a relevant contribution to the creative industries.
The Gauteng chapter of the Visual Arts Network of South Africa (VANSA) recently stepped in as a Skaftien partner, contributing financially to the event,
The tickets for the Skaftien events are sought-after creative works in themselves. This silkscreened creations are apparently collectibles to die for.